Wednesday 05 February 2014
Grassroots coaches from football clubs in Surrey were given the opportunity to learn from the best when they were invited to Motspur Park training ground to receive coaching expertise from Fulham Football Club.
"All our coaches have come away feeling revitalised"
Coaches from Ashtead FC, Windlesham United, Horsley FC and Epsom & Ewell Colts, all of whom are members of Fulham FC Charter Standard Partner Clubs, were granted an audience with Fulham's Academy to learn their coaching practices and philosophies and strive to implement them at their own clubs.
Fulham Academy Coach Developer Geoff Noonan opened the session with a presentation on the Fulham academy's youth set-up, highlighting the need to balance school commitments with training and their goal to get players into the Fulham first team.
Coaches Kevin Betsy and Mike Cave then delivered a session with their Under-14s side, with a focus on movement off the ball and playing between the lines, breaking off from their session at regular intervals to discuss what they were doing with the grassroots coaches to aid their understanding. The evening was brought to a close with a question-and-answer session.
The Surrey County FA and Fulham joined forces to set up a new partnership with the six Charter Standard clubs in Surrey in September 2012. Since then the clubs, who were selected due to their Charter Standard status, have received support and resources from Fulham to develop all aspects of their operations, not just the playing side.
Other benefits include discounted tickets for Fulham's Barclays Premier League matches and visits from the club mascot, Billy the Badger.
"The sessions provided a great opportunity to allow us grassroots coaches to learn what the professionals do," Ashtead Colts coach Richard Trevarthen said. "All our coaches have come away feeling revitalised. The vital integration of grassroots football with the professional game helps volunteers continue to provide quality football to the youth of our community regardless of ability."
Trevarthen also appreciated the efforts made by Fulham to engage with young fans who are just discovering the beautiful game.
"Having Billy the Badger come down made 100 seven-year-olds very happy," he said. "The Fulham shirt framed in the clubhouse has kept everyone guessing at whose signatures they are, and the ball boys at the games have achieved a once-in-a-lifetime experience."